Apps.SMU provides access to a variety of applications within a virtualized environment, removing device and OS barriers and allowing access to the applications from almost any device with an internet connection. For first-time users of Apps.SMU, reading through the Installation Instructions found on the Documentation and Training tab at www.smu.edu/OIT/Services/AppsSMU is a great place to start. For current Apps.SMU users, we have a few usage tips.
Defeat the first launch lag
The initial launch of an app is a little slow (20-60 seconds). Why? Because the apps run on a remote server, sending only the pixels to your device. The first time an application is launched, your session must logon to the server, which takes a little more time. Launches of subsequent apps sharing the same server will usually take 2-5 seconds.
What can you do to be more productive? As you begin your work day, class, or study session, login to Apps.SMU right away, and launch an app that you will use. Proceed with your day, checking email during the 20-60 second lag. Later, when you are ready to use the app, it’s ready to go.
Further, do not close down your apps until you are done for the day. Apps.SMU apps are not using up resources, such as memory or CPU, on your local workstation. So, there is no need to close your apps until you are positive you will not need them again.
Understand disconnected sessions
As we explained above, Apps.SMU apps run on a remote server. A nice feature of Apps.SMU is the ability to disconnect your session. Disconnecting leaves your apps running for up to 4 hours of inactivity, allowing them to come back immediately (in the same state you left them) upon your next login to Apps.SMU.
To disconnect from Apps.SMU
- Click the drop down next to your name in your Apps.SMU browser session.
- Choose Disconnect.
- That’s it! You are now logged out of your browser sessions.
The apps will disappear, but they will remain running on the server. You can then head to your local coffee shop, login to Apps.SMU, and watch your apps reappear. Or you can go home, login to Apps.SMU on a different device, and your disconnected apps will pop up ready for use.
Another tip about disconnected apps is that occasionally broadband connectivity hiccups may cause your apps to disconnect unexpectedly. If your apps suddenly disappear from your desktop, they may be disconnected. Try the same steps from above. Drop down, disconnect, and then login again to Apps.SMU. Often, following those steps will restore your missing apps.
Use your U drive
All Apps.SMU users have a personal U drive for file storage. Take advantage of storing files used by your apps on your U drive. Your apps will always have access to your U drive, making it a perfect spot to store the files you create, open, or save in your apps. For more information, see Saving & Accessing Files in Apps.SMU on the same Documentation and Training tab referenced above.